Yes, with HealthWage you really CAN get paid to lose weight. But it’s not easy.
Here’s how it works.
Have you ever tried to get healthier and lose weight, but lost motivation before reaching your goals?
Perhaps you’ve gone as far as buying a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment only for them go unused after your initial commitment.
But what if you could lose weight and make money doing it? Would that be enough motivation to stick with your exercise and diet regimen?
With HealthyWage, you can do just that. HealthyWage is an online company that uses cash prizes (up to $10,000) to make weight loss and fitness more fun and effective.
How Does HealthyWage Work?
HealthyWage is easy to use, and follows a 4-step process:
- Calculate Your Prize
- Make Your Bet
- Lose the Weight (that’s the hard part!)
- Win Money (woohoo!)
Use the Prize Calculator
Start with HealthyWage’s free Prize Calculator to pick your weight loss goal and see how much you can win.
Important Note: Your minimum weight loss goal must be at least 10% of your body weight. For example, a 200 pound person would have to lose at least 20 pounds.
Your goal will include how many pounds you want to lose as well as the time frame (in months) in which you will lose them.
You also will set an amount that you want to bet per month. As you adjust all of the variables you will notice the prize range goes up and down based on your input.
There’s no commitment yet, so play around with the calculator until you are comfortable with weight loss commitment and prize range.
Pro Tip: Enter a dollar amount that hurts a little (or a lot). If you put an amount that’s meaningless to you, you’ll be more likely to throw in the towel when the going gets tough.
Enter Your Stats
After you’ve finished step one, you will be taken through several screens where you will enter specific data about yourself, including:
- Current Weight (which will be verified later — no padding the scale!)
- Waist Size
See Your Prize Amount
In order to see your prize amount, which is based on the date you entered, you will need to enter an email address and create a password.
To test this out, I entered a weight loss goal of 30 pounds in 9 months with a $50 bet monthly. My prize amount ended up being $500, or an 11% return on my “investment”.
HealthyWage uses “a proprietary algorithm” to calculate prizes so prizes might be different for 2 people entering similar information. I played around with different factors but it always presented a similar prize for me.
Just to be clear on how they’re calculating this, I’m putting in $450 ($50 x 9 months), and getting out $500 when I hit my goal — the $50 gain.
To me, that seems like a lot of cash to put at risk for just a $50 gain, but your numbers might look different AND there’s the motivation factor of NOT losing it too.
(The average prize for goal achievers is $1,331.)
Your prize winnings amount is set during this initial setup of your individual challenge, up to $10,000.
The next step is to make your bet, lose the weight, and get paid.
Making Your HealthyWage Bet
Once you’ve received your prize amount, you decide whether you want to place a bet. If you do, you will enter your credit card information.
You can choose to pay all at once or make monthly payments.
Verifying Your Weight
This is one point I was really curious about. What’s to stop people from entering an inflated “starting weight” and cashing in when the pounds miraculously melted away?
The way HealthyWage combats this is by requiring users to verify your initial weight before the challenge starts. (You will also do this at the end of the challenge to see if you hit your goal.)
There are two ways to do this:
- Download the HealthyWage mobile app (iOS | Android) and have one on their referees remotely witness your weigh-in.
- Make a short weigh-in video and upload it securely to the HealthyWage website.
The only equipment you need to use HealthyWage is a smartphone and a scale. There are no other weigh-ins during the process.
HealthyWage doesn’t track your progress and doesn’t include a way for you to track progress through their website or app.
Finish your Challenge
Your HealthyWage challenge concludes on the appointed date given. In order to win the prize, you just need to achieve your weight loss goal in the timeframe you set up.
As mentioned earlier, your weight will be verified at the conclusion of the challenge. If you hit your goal, you will earn the prize.
If not, you lose the money you wagered on yourself.
The Science Behind HealthyWage
Academic research at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania found that:
- Cash rewards can increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs.
- People are more likely to take action when their own money is at risk.
HealthyWage relies on two scientific rules about human behavior: incentives and loss aversion. In simpler terms, the company uses both a “carrot” and a “stick” to motivate participants.
Participants have “skin in the game” by having to wager real money on their weight loss success.
(Though tons of people sign up for gym memberships that they never use so in a sense they are losing money as well.)
There’s something about wagering money, though, that motivates people differently.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who have a financial incentive to lose weight are five times more like to reach their weight loss goals than people with no money at stake.
How Do I Get Paid by HealthyWage?
Upon winning a challenge, you will earn HW points, valued at one dollar each. HW points will be added to your account by the evening of your prize announcement.
With your HW points, you can do a few things:
- Request a payout. (yes!!)
- Use HW Points to join a new challenge.
- Use HW Points to pay installments on a current challenge (this requires emailing HealthyWage’s accounting department to set up).
HealthyWage pays challenge winners by paper check or PayPal.
According to their website, there is a processing fee for a paper check of $7.00. HealthyWage does not apply a fee for PayPal payouts, but PayPal may charge a fee.
HealthyWage offers programs for companies and organizations looking to implement employee wellness programs. This can potentially help businesses decrease healthcare costs and reduce the number of sick days.
Besides their HealthyWager Individual Weight Loss Bet, HealthyWage offers people other ways to make money. This is done through various individual and team challenges.
You can participate in up to 10 challenges at the same time.
Jackpot Challenges: Available as an individual or team challenge, with Jackpot challenges your money goes into a pot. If you (or your team with the team challenge) loses 6% of your body weight at the end of the challenge, you win the pot.
Step Challenge: Connect your step counting device in order to participate in a step challenge. You can compete as an Individual or as part of a team to try to achieve specific step goals to earn a share of the pot.
$10,000 Team Challenge: Teams of 5 compete to lose the greatest percentage of weight to win cash prizes. The top prize is $10,000.
Is HealthyWage a Scam?
Many people have questioned whether HealthyWage is an ethical company or a scam. They are turned off by the fact that it resembles gambling. On the surface, HealthyWage seems to profit off the fact that the majority of people simply don’t stick with diets or fitness plans.
There are reasons why HealthyWage is a legit business, though. First, they have been around since 2009 so they have longevity. They weren’t formed just to profit off people. In fact, much of the money made off lost wagers goes towards payouts for other challenges.
(HealthyWage also makes money off sponsorships and partnerships and various fees, not just money from users who fail to hit their health goals.)
Co-founder David Roddenberry says that HealthyWage “success rates vary, with between 25 percent and 40 percent of participants actually winning their bets.”
“If 100 percent of the people lost the weight,” he added, “We would be absolutely thrilled.” (Though I’m sure that would hurt the cash flow of the company!)
Although HealthyWage’s model seems like a gamble, it’s different because participants have complete control of the outcome. They decide if they will put in the work and stick with their health plan.
The program is set up to offer higher prize payouts to people with large amounts of weight to lose, which can be hard to accomplish.
Fun Fact: The company has paid out over $10 million so far!
HealthyWage isn’t the only weight loss betting website that can earn people money. Following the success of HealthyWage, other sites have popped up that offer similar programs and other business models.
Some of those websites include:
DietBet — Following a model similar to HealthyWage, with DietBet participants can earn money for losing weight betting on themselves to lose the weight.
RunBet — According to their website, RunBet hosts games to keep you committed to running. Place your bet, start running, and win. You can run outdoors, on a track or on a treadmill. You just need to sync your program with an approved GPS app.
StickK — Similar to HealthyWage, StickK pays people for losing weight. The difference between HealthyWage and StickK is their billing. With StickK, you don’t pay anything upfront. Participants are only billed the money they wagered if they fail to reach their goal. For some reason, that sounds even more painful!
Walgreens Balance Rewards – This program also allows you to earn points for healthy habits like linking health apps, exercise, testing your blood pressure, tracking your sleep and more. Balance Rewards points are also earned for shopping at Walgreens and using their pharmacy.
Achievement – Achievement pays you for keeping healthy habits. Connect various fitness and health apps and start earning money for tracking steps, sleep, meals, and more.
Who is the Ideal HealthyWage Participant?
HealthyWage is a great program for people who have issues losing weight on their own and need extra motivation.
Or, if you’re committed to making some lifestyle changes anyway, you might as well get paid!
Although HealthyWage can be used by anyone, people who have more weight to lose can make more money. The team challenges encourage a sense of community between participants as they try to reach goals together.
How to Succeed with HealthyWage
Because participants are betting on themselves and their ability to lose weight, it’s important to set yourself up for success with the right habits.
Those habits include eating healthy, portion control, and consistent exercise. What else can you do to make sure you meet your weight loss goals and win your wagers?
Have a Plan
In order to accomplish your goals, it makes sense to spend time formulating a plan to success.
What fitness routines will help lose weight most effectively? What changes do you need to make to your diet?
Use Fitness Tracking Apps
This allows you to keep track of your progress and be able to adjust your plan throughout the process. I know I eat better when I’m consistently logging my meals and snacks in My Fitness Pal.
You’ve already got money on the line, which is definitely one form of accountability!
But whether you join a HealthyWage team or have a spouse or friend help, find someone who can provide positive peer pressure and keep you accountable to your weight loss goals.
Is HealthyWage Right for You?
Participants have the potential to make decent money through HealthyWage, depending on their weight loss goals.
This isn’t something that is going to earn enough money to replace your day job, but if you’re already considering starting a new diet plan, it could be an added bonus.
If you thrive off extra motivation or have the self-discipline to stick with a fitness program long term, HealthyWage could earn you extra cash.
Have you tried HealthyWage yet? Did you win your bet?
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